Mercedes, mirrors like the DAS: the scenarios – F1 Team – Formula 1

Just as it had happened in 2020 with the DAS, also in this 2022 the Formula 1 season opened with a rather heated controversy between the various top teams regarding a controversial technical element. Today as then, the great protagonist of these tensions is the Mercedes, always lavish with new ideas that travel however near if not beyond) the limit of the regulation. In this case at the center of the debate are the aerodynamic appendages that the Brackley team has attached to the mirrors of its brand new W13. An extreme solution linked to the disappearance de facto side bellies on the two silver arrows of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. There Ferrari was the strongest opponent of this solution, directly through the mouth of team principal Mattia Binotto. Red Bull, on the other hand, has niched more in the opposition, also to avoid seeing the updates brought in the viewfinder regarding the RB18 sidepods, also positioned in a gray area of ​​the regulation.

The role of the redhead in this debate is by no means marginal. In fact, in 2018 Ferrari used the introduction of the halo to attach the rear-view mirrors. The solution was rejected by the FIA ​​because it was considered contrary to the spirit of the regulation. In fact, the Federation did not want a safety component – the halo in that case – to become a tool for reaping aerodynamic advantages. In this case the criticism of the Italian team concerns precisely the same points: the spirit of the regulation would in fact be broken by anti-intrusion cone which on the Mercedes car has the role of supporting the mirrors, in turn used for aerodynamic purposes. However, the FIA ​​has already highlighted on several occasions its belief that the solution set up by the world constructors’ champion team is lawful. Otherwise it would have been banned even before testing in Bahrain.

As reported by the German site Auto Motor und Sport however, the fate of the mirrors could replicate that of the DAS, granted for only one year and then banned. In fact, the other teams would not be able at the moment to replicate a similar solution in a particularly short time, precisely because of the many elements involved in its realization. They would therefore be on the plate three hypotheses to solve the delicate problem, mainly in a future key. The first is that the concept used by Mercedes comes declared legal in principle: in this case it will be up to the rivals to adapt – or not – to the solution of the W13. The second hypothesis is that they comeor partially change the rules, so as to facilitate the adoption of a similar solution for the other teams. Finally, Mercedes mirrors could be completely banned for 2023, just as was the case with the DAS. In a discussion between the FIA ​​and the technical directors of the teams, this third option would have been the most voted one, with the obvious exception of the Stuttgart company.



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